Almanac (Footy) Poetry: Ted’s legacy




Mr Football, Footscray’s finest,

E J Whitten, champion of the Big V,

figured early, smiling cheekily,

in Scanlens Football Cards.



Each year from 1964 to ’68,

school collectors prized the Ted card

be he in navy or banded blue, 

red and white. 



By 1969, 

he was rum currency,

image uprightly poppable

from the die-cut surface.



Ted’s death marked the passing

of interstate footy. 

Before pegging out, he scored

one final limo lap of the G.



The Herald Sun headlined simply:




Ted’s clean cardboard image 

mouldered in my briefcase until 2015

when, along with 300-odd mates from the old

twelve-team comp, Ted got traded



to a new age collector, 

who knew value when he flicked it.

No complaints – I was well paid 

and Ted no doubt 



will go on paying his way. 

But a thumbable subset 

of my childhood now lies 

out of bounds – on the full. 


Bill Wootton




Image courtesy of Bill Wootton



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Bill lives in Hepburn Springs, barracks for Collingwood and organises a weekly poem to be published in The Local, either by himself or by any of the local poets, some of whom meet regularly.


  1. Bill Wootton says

    Thanks, Ian, for finding and furnishing the opening EJ image. It is actually from the 1963 series, very rare indeed, and a year before I started collecting. The Polly (Farmer) card in 1963 is rarest of all and ridiculously valuable.

  2. Now that’s a six pointer!

  3. Brian Loynes says

    Ya kicked a goal ,Billl.
    My mum would have loved it.
    Will send the link to Randle

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